Scientists predict Afghan insurgent attacks

SCIENTISTS at Edinburgh University believe they are able to use leaked data to predict attacks by insurgents in Afghanistan.

The team used information posted online two years ago on the Afghan War Diary on WikiLeaks, which details 77,000 military logs dated between 2004 and 2009.

They used a code to extract dates and locations from the incident reports, which detailed everything from simple stop-and-search operations to fully-fledged battles, to create a map revealing the outline of the country’s ongoing violence and various hotspots.

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The system predicted the number of incidents in the Baghlan province of Afghanistan would rise from 100 in 2009 to 228 in 2010, just six more than the actual total.

The software can predict long-term trends in the most volatile parts of the country.

Guido Sanguinetti, an expert in computational sciences at the university, said: “The model we employed is both complex and simple.

“It doesn’t take in any knowledge of military operations or political events, and it treats all types of violence exactly the same.”